26 Jan 2007

American Samoa's congressman wants Papua's Act of Free Choice investigated

4:17 pm on 26 January 2007

American Samoa's congressman, Faleomaveaga Eni Hunkin, says he wants an inquiry into the way the controversial Act of Free Choice in Indonesia's Papua province was conducted by the United Nations in 1969.

Jakarta gained control of the former Dutch colony through the Act but Faleomaveaga says the Papuans who took part in the associated plebiscite did so at gunpoint.

Faleomaveaga is the new chair of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment.

He says the people of Papua have never been given their right to self determination and he says the UN is responsible for this.

"I am not suggesting that we seek independence for the West Papuan people. All I am saying is that they deserve the right of self determination that has never been given them from the time of the Dutch colonisation period and the time of both Sukarno and Suharto and even in the present situation."